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Ian Ross


Ian Ross paints energy. In front of an audience on stage, in his lush backyard studio, or in the warehouse at Facebook HQ, his work is alive. Ross works “without the burden of intention” and reacts to each moment with bold graffiti inspired forms and colors. Ross has developed his unique style for 20 years and takes great pride in his spontaneous method. His street art style has become widely accepted and revered in a fine art realm. He has become known as the “Tech/Start-up Artist” painting live murals in high tech offices for Companies like Facebook, Google, Vendini, Alphaboost, AdRoll and Zimride. 

As the in-house resident artist at Facebook HQ during 2011 in Palo Alto, Ross learned how powerful his work was on a large scale. He painted four murals in the offices and cafe of Facebook, including one during a 24 “Hackathon” that was filmed and used on MTV’s “Diary of Facebook”. He also painted a 110 ft mural in San Francisco that was featured on the cover of the Wall St. Journal for a story called “Graffiti’s New Enemy, Legal Art”. Other notable live murals include his 70 ft piece titled “Royal Feathers” in the Cosmopolitan Hotel Las Vegas that was featured in Vegas Rated magazine, his 10 mural “environment” inside Start-Up House in SF, and a 60 ft. tall behemoth on their exterior facing the Bay Bridge. 

Born and raised as a third generation artist in Marin County (just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco) Ross has relocated to his hometown after completing a BFA in Ceramics from Long Beach State in 2003. His extensive travels following the worlds best graffiti inspired him to start painting in the Bay Area after the move, leaving clay and kilns aside. A surfer of 20 years, Ross is a hardcore local in the cold treacherous waters of Northern California, and embodies the lifestyle of this rugged counter culture. His passionate, even addictive connection to nature rivals only his love for graffiti art and of course his beautiful Brazilian wife Daniele, who manages his business full time. 

In the short week Ian visited Serenbe he enhanced the community wiht this amazing mural in the heart of The Daisy courtyard.


S. Gayle Stevens


S. Gayle Stevens visited Serenbe in Summer 2012. She has worked in antiquarian photographic processes for over fifteen years. Her chosen medium is wet plate collodion for its fluidity and individuality: she especially delights in the flaws. Using modified Holgas and cameraless photography, she produces small wet plate tintypes. She exhibits extensively across the United States. 

Stevens received a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of chicago in 1999. She was named one of the Critical Mass Top Fifty Photographers for 2010, received second place in the Lens Culture International Exposure Awards in 2011. A member of the When Pigs Fly photo collective, she divides her time shooting in Pass Christian, Mississippi and Downers Grove, Illinois where she currently resides. 

Visit Gayle's website here.

Summer at Serenbe, found objects take on a life of their own in this unique piece created by Gayle during her visit at Serenbe from objects found on her daily walks around the community.


Marilyn Suriani


Marilyn Suriani on her Residency at Serenbe:

“What made my residency at Serenbe special? That’s easy...the community most of all. I met so many interesting and diverse people who were very kind and supportive. And I can’t think of a better setting/environment for creating with so much energy and attention to detail all around me. Of course, the Blue-Eyed Daisy Bakeshop was my second home and the meals at the restaurants were superb. My living accommodations were top notch and so convenient to the studio. Finally, I made many friends. I really can’t think of a better place for any artist to be in residence.”

Visit Marilyn's site here.


Adejoke Tugbiyele

Adejoke Tugbiyele is a Nigerian-American sculptor and experimental video artist. She works in various mediums including wire, natural fibers, fabric, and wood. The themes in her work range from sexual identity and human rights to leadership and governance. Tugbiyele’s work has been exhibited and screened at reputable institutions both in the United States and internationally including the The Center for Contemporary Art in Lagos Nigeria, the Museum of Arts and Design, The Jewish Museum of New York, The Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw Poland, The Museum of Biblical Art, The James E. Lewis Museum of Art, The Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Spelman College Museum of Art and The United Nations Headquarters. She has also shown at Art Dubai 2014, the 6th Annual Joburg Art Fair in 2013, Johannesburg, South Africa and the 2014 video art fair, LOOP Barcelona, Spain and the Goethe Institute in Lagos, Nigeria.

After studying and practicing as an architect, Tugbiyele went on to receive a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Maryland Institute College of Art (2013). She is the recipient of several awards including the Fulbright U.S. Student Fellowship 2013-14, The Amalie Rothschild Award (2013) and the William M. Phillips Award for best figurative sculpture (2012) at Maryland Institute College of Art.  She has appeared/published as an artist and queer activist on CNN international, The Feminist Wire and theHuffington Post.  Her work has been featured in numerous publications including Metropolis M magazine in the Netherlands and Omenka Magazine in Lagos, Nigeria. 

Tugbiyele is currently an Artist-in-Residence at Gallery Aferro. In addition to art-making, she is the Director of Studio Arts Programs at The Lower East Side Girls Club of New York where she helps mentor and empower young women through the arts.

Learn more about Ade here.

Lora-Faye Whelan

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Brooklyn native Lora-Faye is a singer and multi-instrumentalist whose ghostly howl seems to come from a different time and place altogether. While there is an undeniable political and intellectual bent to the project, the songs themselves run completely on raw and untethered emotion. With a deep understanding of the power in the strange and idiosyncratic in American folk and rock traditions, Lora-Faye draws from such disparate sources as Gillian Welch and Jeff Buckley, Blind Willie Johnson and Anais Mitchell, Harry Smith and Andy Warhol.

In 2012 alone, Lora-Faye’s songwriting won her such accolades as the Grand Prize Award at The Mountain Stage NewSong Contest, Hudson Valley Songfest’s “Best New Artist,” and a winning slot at The New Jersey Folk Festival’s Songwriting Competition.

Lora-Faye performs her energetic live show with a constantly evolving band of New Yorkers: a rotating cast of jazz musicians, untrained folkies, opera singers, and everything in between.

Paul Villinski


Paul comments on his visit to Serenbe:


“I focused on collecting my ideas for future works, rather than trying to realize any major work itself. Part of this involved reviewing my existing journals and sketchbooks to sift through ideas from the preceeding decade. I described and documented possible sculptural works in notes and drawings, and made comprehensive lists of artworks that I expect to realize during the next five years or so. Ultimately, I Ieft Serenbe with a clear sense of the work that will occupy me in the studio and form the basis for my future exhibitions."

“The stay was indeed special! Several things combined to make it so; chief among them was the extremelywarm reception I received from the Serenbe community. The community welcomed me and expressed genuine interest in my work and experience as an artist, and was eager to share the pleasures of Serenbe with me. At the same time, everyone seemed to understand my need for a modicum of privacy and solitude, and I sensed that people “tread gently.” Overall, the warmth and supportiveness of the community was a kind of balm that I happily floated in during the month of my stay.
“The beautiful landscape and environs of Serenbe also played a central role in my enjoyment of the residency. Most days included a walk or run on the paths into the woods. Coming from the mixeduse, light industrial neighborhood of Long Island City (read: “no trees”), a month in the bucolic setting of Serenbe was extremely refreshing. I was so happy in that environment that it never even occurred to me to go into Atlanta.”

Visit Paul's website here .

Time Well Spent at Serenbe -- "The Dreamdesk"

While at Serenbe, Paul began concept work for what would eventually become a proposal for the East Rock School, City of New Haven, Percent for Art Program.  

The Drawings:



The Scaled Model:


Ying Zhu

Ying Zhu was born and raised in China. She received an M.F.A. from University of Nebraska – Lincoln in 2010, and currently lives and works in Omaha.

"My experiences of leaving one place and not fully understanding the new one are stimulating to me. This foreign, but exhilarating, terrain has inspired me to negotiate with ideas that explore the path lies between these two worlds. In my work, I hope to bring clarity, humor, beauty and awareness out of my interpretations of the liminal state by focusing on material, the interplay between 2 and 3 Dimensions, process and repetition."

Zhu has lived in Nebraska for 12 years, and was a 2011 artist-in-residence at Omaha's internationally acclaimed Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. In February, she won Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards for Best Emerging Artist and Best New Media Artist.

Learn more about Ying here.